The vest was a lot of fun to make *and* to wear! For the first time in I-don’t-know-when, I actually had my challenge project done well before the due date.
Those of you who keep up with fashion and pass along tidbits to the rest of us, informed me that fur was *in* this season. Thank you.
I searched around various retail websites and found several inspiration vests that I liked. One was this one, which came from Nordstrom.com, I believe:
and this one which came from the same website and is part of a child’s outfit:
So. My preferred vest features appear to be cheetah, center front separating zipper, and high collar. First things first, I started looking for cheetah fur yardage and found…
Fabric.com had some nice faux furs, so I chose their Faux Fur Snow Lynx White/Brown. It had sort of a striped pattern to it.
Next (after ordering only one yard of the $$ not-on-sale fur) I started looking for a pattern and found…
The closest pattern was (also not-on-sale) Simplicity 2285, which had the collar and the general shape I liked but no zipper. I found some vest patterns with princess seams plus a zipper, but I didn’t want to cut the fur that much. Think about it–fur, seams, stripes.
The Simplicity pattern artwork looked better than it actually was. (You are no doubt surprised by that revelation.) In reality, it was a long box with the only shaping provided by the tie belt. That might be fine for someone besides me–you know, somebody tall and thin.
I look better in a short, shapely pattern.
In the end, I shortened the thing three inches and added some shaping in the form of a bust dart and curved side seams. I considered putting in waist darts and decided I just couldn’t stand to deal with more seaming in the stuff. Adding the zipper was enough of a pile-trimming nightmare.
(Once the trash went out, however, I didn’t lose anymore sleep over that issue.)
The belt is from some dark brown faux reptile knit that I had in my stash closet.
Now that it’s done, I love it:
You can see the shadow of the dart, but I don’t think it detracts from the vest’s appearance. Quite the contrary, in fact, considering what a box looks like on me.
When I laid out the pattern, I was careful to align the darker stripe with the center front and back. The stripes were a good width for the vest, I think.
And of course, I used every fur tip I could recall:
- draw the pattern onto the back of the fabric, rather than pinning
- snip around the pattern with the tips of my scissors, being careful to avoid cutting the pile
- trim the pile from the seam allowances before and/or after sewing
- pick the pile out of the seams with a pin after the seams were sewn
The only photo of me wearing it is this group shot from the meeting on Saturday. We had seven ladies to participate in the vest challenge–one of them left before I remembered to get a photo. I wore it with my new McCall’s 6355 dress and my brown suede boots.
I had so much fun with it, that I’m toying with the idea of making some other faux fur garment before you inform me that it is passé